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TechNet Magazine Columns

Geek of All Trades

Greg Shields
You can create System Center 2012 Virtual Machine Manager service templates to deploy and manage remote desktop services with scale out.
June2013
Greg Shields
You can create and provision custom certificates relatively easily following this process.
May2013
Greg Shields
Clearing zombie applications from your environment isn’t unlike what you see heroes doing in the movies, but you need the right tools.
April2013
Greg Shields
You can actually use the Windows Server 2012 Scale-Out File Server and Server Message Block to create a level of fault-tolerant storage.
March2013
Greg Shields
System Center Service Manager 2012 can handle automating the process of managing service requests.
February2013
You can automate the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2012 Windows deployment wizard and save yourself considerable time and effort.
January2013
Greg Shields
System Center Orchestrator 2012 uses runbooks to automate activities and tasks—all without requiring a single line of code or script.
December2012
Greg Shields
Microsoft quietly added Server App-V to System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012, an excellent move on both the technical and strategic level.
November2012
Greg Shields
There’s a whole “new” crop of reconfigured and reclassified Microsoft certification exams, but how much has the focus and the gravitas changed?
October2012
Greg Shields
Installing, configuring and activating single sign-on within Office 365 is a lengthy but worthwhile process.
September2012
Greg Shields
Using virtual machine-hosted RemoteApps could be the necessary next step in remote application access.
August2012
Greg Shields
There are other ways to manage the compliance settings of Microsoft System Center 2012 Configuration Manager if you’re shut out of Group Policy.
July2012
Greg Shields
When configuring highly available Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol in Windows Server 2012, you can now include features and support that were never there before.
June2012
Greg Shields
No SAN? No problem. You can live migrate Hyper-V virtual machines without using shared storage.
May2012
Greg Shields
Just because you’re part of a small business doesn’t mean you can’t extend your network over the Internet with DirectAccess.
April2012
Greg Shields
When it comes to demystifying Windows 7 licensing practices, it helps to remember the “Rule of 3.”
March2012
Greg Shields
You can cheat a bit by updating WIMs offline with Windows Updates. Here’s how.
February2012
Greg Shields
If you never thought you’d need to use Windows PowerShell to manage cloud apps such as Office 365, here’s a QuickStart for the complete newbie.
January2012
Greg Shields
Even USMT haters might want to revisit this helpful tool for automating OS migrations and bringing along all the user settings.
December2011
Greg Shields
You can add a second RD Session Host server following these five relatively simple steps.
November2011
Greg Shields
Setting up your own mechanism for generating security certificates is nowhere near as complicated as many seem to think.
October2011
Greg Shields
There are plenty of free tools out there that help you control your infrastructure, so why aren’t you using them?
September2011
Greg Shields
You can configure VMM 2012, the new Microsoft Hyper-V management platform, to create a high-availability cloud service.
August2011
Greg Shields
When it comes to monitoring and management, working with a cloud-based service could be the way to go.
July2011
Greg Shields
Using WDS Driver Databases can help you refine your image-based Windows deployment strategies to a refined science.
June2011
Greg Shields
Remote Management wasn’t quite there with Windows Server 2008. It’s getting better with the R2 release, but you still have homework to do.
May2011
Greg Shields
Our intrepid Geek of All Trades sits down with the authors of the Remote Desktop Services Resource Kit.
April2011
Greg Shields
Office 365 is exceptionally well-suited for small businesses looking to leap into cloud computing, with a full range of productivity and collaboration features.
March2011
Greg Shields
Running an IT shop has always come with a side order of alphabet soup. That’s not likely to change any time soon.
February2011
Greg Shields
WSUS practically stands alone as the premier update-management solution, but you can make it work even better.
January2011
Greg Shields
Having the computers under your control sleep on schedule saves you money and can help conserve power – but it’s a delicate balancing act.
December2010
Greg Shields
It’s easier to deploy Windows 7 than you may be led to believe by the online documentation that accompanies many of the free deployment tools.
November2010
Greg Shields
Where PerfMon falls short, Essentials comes in with a powerful, flexible, configurable option for monitoring just about any aspect your servers exhibit.
October2010
Greg Shields
You can’t avoid Office 2010, but you can find other ways to automate installation with any of these free tools.
September2010
Greg Shields
Advances in technology could have a huge impact on how you do your job—and even the very nature of your job itself.
August2010
Greg Shields
Using the offline VM servicing tool is a good way to patch those dormant virtual machines populating your enterprise.
July2010
Greg Shields
Security configuration is always important. That's why Microsoft continues to strengthen its tools for centrally configuring computer settings -- Group Policy, System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM).
June2010
Greg Shields
Greg Shields takes you through how to best use the virtual functionality of Windows 7 so your business can continue to use legacy applications.
April2010
Greg Shields
Adding virtual desktops to your other mechanisms for connecting users to applications and data can be a very smart solution for your small business.
March2010
Greg Shields
Data Protection Manager offers powerful new ways to manage your legacy tape storage and backup systems. Read on to find out how.
January2010
Greg Shields
A monolithic approach to deployment just isn’t practical anymore. What’s needed is a layered approach that lets you easily deploy your Windows desktops, one with a single Windows image as its core. By Greg Shields.
December2009
Greg Shields
IT pros today are responsible for effectively managing ever-increasing amounts of data that may include sensitive or personally identifiable information. Microsoft’s new File Classification Infrastructure make this easier by allowing the use of predefined policies to automate the process of dealing with that data based on the data’s characteristics.
November2009
Greg Shields
There’s still no one-stop solution for fully securing your IT systems, but AppLocker comes really, really close. This article offers insights about the technology’s features and functionality.
October2009
Greg Shields
Microsoft’s System Center Essentials (SCE) platform combines the functionality of two large-scale Microsoft management solutions—Windows Server Update Services and System Center Operations Manager—in a package designed for smaller environments. Learn how
September2009
Greg Shields
With the Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer credential being retired for all iterations but Windows Server 2003, a new certification program has been created. Greg Shields explains how this new certification path helps to better identify where your skills lie.
August2009
Greg Shields
Greg Shields explains why setting and managing file permissions from the command line, though initially complex, can provide great benefits, and he describes two free tools to help you do this.
July2009
Greg Shields
Windows Server Backup is a quick, easy, and inexpensive way to back up computers running the Windows Server 2008. Greg Shields explains some of the design decisions that went into this tool, an why it may be useful in small environments.
June2009
Greg Shields
NAP monitors the health of specified computers when they attempt to connect to a network and includes a number of mechanisms to enforce health requirements. This article gives readers an overview of these enforcement mechanisms and, as an example, takes a closer look at setting up DHCP enforcement
May2009
Greg Shields
Struggling to keep computers running with a minimum of resources and a shrinking budget is a challenge. One thing you can do is increase the availability of your servers with Hyper-V and failover clustering. Find out how.
April2009
Greg Shields
Get an overview of some handy free tools created by Microsoft that cover many of the tasks IT professionals must deal with on a regular basis. These utilities will help ease the administration of file servers, Exchange servers, desktops, and more.
March2009
Greg Shields
In the world of IT publications, the needs of the jack-of-all-trades IT professionals tend to be neglected. Do you work in a small environment where you are responsible for managing everything from network routing to changing toner cartridges? If so, this new column is dedicated to you. In this first installment, Greg Shields discusses using Windows Server 2008 Server Core in a small environment.
February2009